Remember when you couldn't wait for Christmas Break. Three weeks off from school to hang with friends, sledding, building snow structures or getting into some general mis-behavin'. Christmas almost got in the way and New Year's Eve was just an exercise in trying to stay up until midnight.
Then we had to grow up. Now the holidays mean more traffic, more shopping and wishing you could get to bed before midnight. Worst of all, for a B2B business owner, it means no work will get done for the next 3 weeks. Everyone is too worried about shopping, attending parties and hiding gifts in their offices to concern themselves about something as mundane as their marketing campaign.
If you do get any work it has to be covered in snow flakes, confetti or old man time next to a naked baby in a Miss America sash.
Do I sound like the Grinch? I don't mean to. It's just that I haven't been home for the holidays in quite a while, and boy am I glad. We have a holiday tradition of packing up and hitting the road and spending 3 weeks south of the boarder on a beach. "What?" you say? What about family, Christmas and all the New Year's Parties?
Well let me tell you if you want to feel excited about the Holidays again, this will do it. I'm already thinking about next holiday season.
Did I mention that we drive to Mazatlan, Mexico. Yes, you heard right, we drive. From Utah to Mexico and I'll tell you why this is the best vacation you can ever take and why you should make everyone in the office take this vacation as well. I'll give you a little advice from David Ogilvy to help me explain. Here is an excerpt from his book, which I'm sure you've all read "Confessions of an Advertising Man":
"I have come to think that one of the most revealing signs of a young man’s capacity is the use he makes of his vacations. Some fritter away those precious three weeks, while some get more out of them than all the rest of the year put together.
I offer this recipe for refreshing vacations:
Don’t stay at home and putter around the house. You need a change of scene.
Take your wife, but leave the children with a neighbor. Small fry are a pain in the neck on a vacation.
Shut yourself off from exposure to advertising.
Take a sleeping pill every night for the first three nights.
Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
Read a book every day — twenty-one books in three weeks. (I assume that you have already taken the Book-of-the-Month Club’s rapid reading course, and that you can do 1,000 words a minute.)
Broaden your horizons by going abroad, even if you have to travel steerage. But don’t travel so much that you come back cross and exhausted."
I read this book when I was just starting out in marketing, at the advice of a good friend and my first creative director. It's amazing how much of it still applies today. And none of it more than this little bit on how to vacation.
First off, keep in mind we drive from SLC, Utah to Mazatlan, Mexico. And for good reason...it's a tradition. Some fly and stay in condos but the majority of my family and friends drive and stay in a beach side RV park.
Driving does two things. First, it is a stress reliever. This isn't Monday morning commuter driving we're talking about. It's long-haul-trucking kind of driving. Last, you get to acclimate to your vacation. The first day you still answer calls and emails, second day a little less. Then you go through the border and turn everything off for the third day. When David says to take a sleeping pill the first three nights I substitute that with driving a 50 foot rig for the first three days. I always sleep like a baby afterwards.
Once we arrive at our destination which is Barrak RV Park, we plug in the electricity, water and sewer, put our fake lawn down and the awning out and we are ready to go... to the beach... 50 yards away.
This year I was really ready for a vaca, so my wife and I did a lot of sitting and reading... on the beach. After about a week somebody usually says Merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad and it brings you back to reality a bit, but you just have to brush that off and go on like nobody said anything. A week later you hear gunfire in the middle of the night... oh wait it must be New Years... and you go back to sleep.
I can't say I read a book every day, but I can say I read every day. And I can say that I got plenty of air and for exercise I climbed stairs (the Mayan Massage is on the second floor).
So I can say that I may have traveled steerage (whatever that is) but I am not so exhausted that I'm cross.
After spending the last year turning Fritz and Andre into Salt Lake's Premier Inbound Marketing Agency I think I deserve a little R&R.
Oh, did I mention I caught a fish!
Welcome 2014! It's going to be a great year!